Yay! Hurray! I’m fucking done writing and demoing bass for the upcoming EP!
It’s been a long time coming but hey, that’s it, I’m done with bass and that’s a bit of a relief.
Now I’m going to move back to the guitars (which I already have demoed). Working on bass made me consider playing some of those riffs differently and I want to try out new ideas and stuff. Thought I’d move on to lyrics and vocals as soon as I was done with bass but I think it will be worth it in the end spending a few more weeks on those guitars. Plus I’ve improvised a ton of arrangements while demoing guitars and I (really) need to figure out what the hell I’ve been playing to be sure I know the parts when it comes to recording the real thing…
And aside from my solo adventures, the boys and I have been gearing up for the upcoming gigs with Rosetta and North.
We’ve got a very cool setlist going on and we’ve worked a bit on a light show with our guy so things should be fun.
Can’t wait to get there!
Playlist / Record shopping
- ALICE IN CHAINS Unplugged
- CULT OF LUNA AND JULIE CHRISTMAS Mariner
- MARS RED SKY Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul)
- PEARL JAM Vs.
Two remastered classics (and probably also two of my all time favorites) and two brilliant new records have been spinning this month.
There’s nothing more to be said about the Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam records that haven’t already been said a million times but holy shit, will they ever, ever get old? Nah… probably not.
Had great expectations in the Cult Of Luna vs. Julie Christmas record and those fine people did deliver as expected. Very cool collaboration filled with guts and passion in this very often boring post-whatever music world.
The Mars Red Sky boys didn’t disappoint either with their third offering. Their finest work to date in my very humble opinion. The songwriting has sharpened, the choruses and hooks are bigger than ever and the production is totally spot on. Very refreshing and actually quite unique. Really loved that record.
Live & banging
HELLFEST, Clisson (France), June 17th to 19th 2016
Woke up early this Friday to get on time on site for Audrey Horne‘s (short) gig which I really really really wanted to catch… and guess what ? One hell of a fucking hour long queue at the gates stops my dream right there as I won’t see anything of the band’s set aside from its last 30 seconds. We’re off to a good start here…
It’s been a while since I step foot at Hellfest and it’s a bit of an understatement to say that things have changed since its first editions and Fury Fests I used to attend. The site now looks (quite beautifully actually) like a metalhead’s Disneyland and everything seems of gargantuan proportions.
It’s however with the shittiest of shittiest sounds that Nashville Pussy and their greasy hard-rock take over the Mainstage. Fun but with such a crappy sound (it will unfortunately very often be the case during the fest) it’s hard to really appreciate anything. Too bad.
A quick look at All Pigs Must Die tearing the Warzone apart confirms that Ben Koller stills knows how to shred drumkits to pieces and then comes a series of shows… probably for another audience than my sorry ass.
Le Bal Des Enragés and their giant metal hits karaoke have the crowd going wild while I’m wondering what the hell is going on there, Halestorm and their beautiful (and actually very talented) Lzzy frontwoman have got chops but the whole thing is way too polite musically under all that badass attitude of theirs to light my fire and, despite all their efforts, Mass Hysteria were too handicapped by an addled sound to really hit me during their set (not that anyone else in the crowd seemed to care and quite frankly, although I’m not really into their music, I’m glad these very deserving vets received such a triumph).
And then with the grace from heaven above came Tim Williams and the NYC boys to save me from torpor and remind me why I love Vision Of Disorder so much. Shitty sound (once again) but huge intensity. A whole lotta guts and musicality. However, I still find it a shame that they don’t play any excerpt from “From Bliss To Devastation”. But hey, you can’t have it all can you ?
Turbonegro is always a good time (although I kinda miss Hank Von Helvete) and then came quite an unexpected ass whooping in the form of Killswitch Engage. Hadn’t followed anything the band released after their first two records and honestly, I was very surprised of how cool their set was. Real fun with this over the top goof guitarist of theirs, powerful, über catchy, and super impressive with singer Jesse mastering his art. Very, very cool set.
Hatebreed played Hatebreed and for my 265th time seeing them, it’s still one hell of a good time although Jamey gets quieter onstage as the years pass. Catchy and uplifting hardcore-metal no one shits better.
Time to grab something to eat and secure a spot near the stage for Rammstein while Volbeat and Dropkick Murphys do their thing in the distance. Not my kinda stuff.
If you like Rammstein (which I do, yeah), seeing them live up close for the first time is quite something to experience. Really fucking impressive performance to feast your eyes fitted with a titanesque crystal clear sound. One of the festival highlights in my opinion. Made The Offspring and their jaded attitude look like a bunch of slackers only here to cash their check. Off to bed after three songs.
Sixx:A.M. and their poorly calibrated hard-rock for american radios greet me on site after another hour long queue this Saturday. Boring but hey, seeing Nikki Sixx rock while waiting for Torche isn’t all that bad. So yep, had huge expectations for Torche‘s set. Expectations immediately destroyed by one of the shittiest sounds known to man as soon as the band kicks its set off. Mushy bass, undistinguishable guitars, super loud drums and drowned out vocals were too much for me to take. Love that band but three songs into their set, that was it for me. Thank you mister sound guy (but maybe you did all you could).
A quick look at the main stage gave me the chance to learn that if I someday have to torture someone, I’ll use The Amity Affliction and their choruses as a soundtrack. Made Foreigner‘s AOR totally acceptable after that (“I wanna know what loooooooove iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis, lalala…”).
The good thing with Sick Of It All, is that even after seeing them numerous times, you still get a good time out of it. Classic hardcore played with soul. Love these guys.
So yep… Joe Satriani and Disturbed followed. Probably not much more needed to be said right? Right. But there are a lot of things to say about Bad Religion who fucking ripped through a set of classic punk-rock tracks setting the Warzone on fire. These glorious veterans play well, tight and with a smile. No bullshit, just badass music played with the right attitude. One of the fest’s best set.
The site seems packed way beyond its capacity on this Saturday and it’s quite a long walk from the Warzone to the Valley bumping into all these people. So by the time we get there, the Valley is already packed for Hermano and trying to get inside isn’t even an option. But watching their set on the big screen outside the tent is quite a welcome break after this avalanche of decibels. Looked like a very cool gig.
Back to the Main Stage to watch Bring Me The Horizon out of curiosity. Well… the singer keeps screaming that we’re “a bunch of fucking pussies” and I kinda wonder if there’s any form of sincerity in their music. So we’re off to a bad start here. Yet, the whole thing is energetic and pretty visual with this gigantic screen behind them. So without being particularly exciting, their set is… well, OK I guess. Twisted Sister are way more fun after that. With Motörhead‘s Phil Campbell joining in on the two final songs. Plus their bass player has the most incredible, immaculate goaty known to man. Swag.
In honor of Lemmy, the promoters have scheduled a monstrous, really impressive fireworks following a very emotional speech from Mister Campbell. I’d rather have a better line-up on this day than seeing thousands of Euros spent on fireworks. Anyway, that was a very cool tribute. But whoever had the idea of playing 20 minutes of Motörhead‘s last Hellfest gig videos up on the big screens AFTER the fireworks deserves to be sent on an island with only records of The Amity Affliction as company. THAT WAS SO GODDAMN LONG PEOPLE ! Come on, we all love Motörhead but that was a pain. Thankfully (and quite surprisingly to be honest) Korn came up on stage to save me from sleep. Super tight interpretation and a killer setlist spanning their entire career (well almost). Had the teenager in me shitting his pants. Didn’t expect Jonathan to sing as impressively well and the whole band to display such enthusiasm. Very, very cool moment.
However, this Saturday has globally been pretty disappointing in terms of line-up and an overly crowded site didn’t help in making the day any more enjoyable. Pretty negative points there for a fest with such a badass reputation.
Third day at a festival is always a hard day. Oh god how your whole body hurts.
I would have liked to have something to say about No One Is Innocent but once again, that gigantic queue to get on site prevented me from seeing anything. Off to Unsane then. These guys will never get old will they? Eternal noise-rock heroes always deliver with passion and fierce charisma.
The plain is literally packed for the arrival of France’s metal heroes. Gojira seem to gather more people here than fucking Rammstein did. Impressive ! Yet, comparatively to how much the band’s sets usually destroy me, I found this one a little less intense. But it’s probably only because of the sound which (once again) was pretty disappointing from where I was standing at. Can’t wait to catch these guys once again in Biarritz in July for the replay.
Same thing goes for Slayer whose usual impact was sadly diminished by a very weak sound. Of course their set ruled but come on Hellfest people, what the hell is going on with the sound from bands playing during the day?
Hoped things would have gotten better with Katatonia but… nope. It’s not until half of the set has passed than Anders’ guitar finally surfaces from a blurry mix. But this wasn’t enough to spoil a beautiful performance from the Swedes. Jonas’ voice is simply out of this world during a set including three new songs (as he points out before “Old Heart Falls”, “This song is so new, it’s not even on the setlist.”) and a whole lotta classics (“Deliberation”, “My Twin”, “July”…). Masters.
Time to watch Megadeth deliver a very pleasant classic set punctuated by top notch interventions from new axeman Kiko Loureiro before running to the Valley where Jane’s Addiction kick things off with four excerpts from “Ritual De Lo Habitual”. Once again, unfortunately, the sound ain’t really adapted to a band with so many nuances but the joy of seeing them live for the very first time (and those beautiful girls dancing up on stage probably also) make for one hell of a good time. Would love to see these guys in a more intimate context.
Back to the Main Stage where Ghost have already started their set. Sounds like a diet version of what the band had to offer in Toulouse and Bordeaux a few months ago but of course, it’s still a great moment. Especially when a choir of children joins the band on stage for the grand final of “Monstrance Clock”. It’s amazing (and actually quite comforting) to see how far these dudes have come in a few years. Nice job fellas!
Really didn’t know what to expect of Black Sabbath as Ozzy’s voice is always kind of a lottery but tonight, the man is in great shape and it’s armed with a titanesque sound that the band graces the audience with classics from their four first records. We have to leave before the end to catch a glimpse of Puscifer but no matter how much I love MJK’s work, I’m having a hard time getting into this band and their new found lucha libre whim.
It’s almost one at night after three days of noise and fury and I just can’t find the strength to drag my sorry ass to the Warzone to catch up with Refused before leaving. That’s how it goes with festivals…
Aside from a few problems (globally shitty sound, overcrowded site and hours of queue to get in there), the Hellfest remains something unique to be experienced. Hats off to the promoters for pulling off such an amazing trick every year and putting so much faith and passion into it. It can be felt.
Thanks for checking out my monthly blabber.
‘Til next month fellas!